AUST – HENDRY building surveyors advise that performing a building audit on a specialist maintenance contractor performing essential safety measures maintenance can be quite involved and some property managers and facility managers may not be fully equipped to do the assessment. This article should help property/facility managers in their various building audit/Essential Safety Measures Audit of essential safety measure maintenance contractors.

Auditing Contractors

Various methods are employed to perform a building audit on maintenance contractors who maintain essential safety measures, but each has shortcomings, some of which are:

Inspection of logbooks to determine extent of compliance.

  • Costly double-ups, as it is a manual process, and the building owner is paying twice.
  • Knowledge of inspector who needs to understand all tests and frequencies under maintenance standards required (from weekly to 24 yearly) and then put the results into a spreadsheet to ensure all tests have been captured.
  • High number of test sheets (up to 180) under various Australian Standards.
  • This only provides a historical report. It gives you no opportunity to manage the process real-time to ensure testing is completed before payment is required.
  • Logbooks and records go missing and get damaged, which is convenient for the maintenance contractorwhen non performance of his contractual obligations are a factor.

Requesting the maintenance contractor to provide a copy of all log sheets:

  • Most contractors find this difficult, as it is a manual process for them to filter out specific test sheets;
  • Test sheets can be filled out after the date of inspection (leaving the potential for “drive bys”);
  • The high volumes of essential safety measures test sheets, including storage.
  • Your staff then have to analyse each essential safety measures test sheet to ensure all requirements are met. They require expertise on the building regulations, essential safety measures regulations and maintenance standards requirements.

The importance of an independent third party building audit process cannot be understated. A building audit on the performance of maintenance contractors on an ongoing basis is paramount for the safe and effective performance of buildings. A combination of logbook audits, thorough inspection processes and systems verification tests all contribute to maintaining quality control and mitigating risk.

We have observed a number of our clients have engaged the services of Verified, a company which has developed a range of purpose-designed forms to record all results of inspections, tests, defects and maintenance works. We recommend having a read of their website.

Building Legislation Table

Refer to our Building Legislation table for further information on the building permit process.

Fire Safety Compliance: Essential Safety Measures

Refer to our Essential Safety Measures Identification Table for further information on individual essential safety measures including the Annual Statement.

Further Advice

For further advice please contact Essential Property Services office by clicking here.